The Nutcracker And The Four Realms [DVD]
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All Clara wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift from her late mother. A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key - which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip, a gang of mice and the regent who preside over the three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger, to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world.
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Visually it's beautiful. The special effects and the set designs are pure fairy story picture book beautiful maybe even a little to beautiful to the extent that it's almost overdone.
There is one scene, and it's repeated latter, that is a direct nod to Fantasia; Disney's other great visual feast that divided opinion on it's release.
So visually it's very good but what else?
The story is classic nineteenth century fairy story with a little Victorian steam punk. But the story isn't that exciting, very young children may find it intriguing and charming but compared to other better known classics like Snow White, Cinderella or Little Red Riding Hood it's some what lacking in personality and some what lack lustre.
But the biggest let down is the acting. Only one character is convincing and that's 'Morgan Freeman' as the 'God Father' everyone else is like they are at the first day's script read through and have no more conviction than a bored school child being made to read out loud.
The music is passable but I was disappointed they didn't make greater uses of Tchaikovsky's music which was a shame.
Visuals 9/10, story 5/10, music 4/10 but the acting 2/10.
however Mr Stahlbaum acting on his dead wife's wishes hands out gifts she'd left for her three children, Clara (Mackenzie Foy) receives a handcrafted egg she finds to be locked, inside the box a note from her mother telling her that inside the egg she'll find everything she wants.
At the ball her Godfather as he always does gives gifts for his guest's children, to find the gifts they have to follow a string which has their name attached to it...................
Clara follows her string which takes her to a passage leading into a mysterious World.
At the end of the string the missing key, she reaches for it, but a mouse whisks it away, Clara gives chase.
The mouse ends up the other side of a frozen river, Clara cannot cross over but see's a bridge which is where she meets up with a guard Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight) who will not let her pass, however when she tells him her name things change, her mother was/is Queen of the lands beyond which means Clara is a princess.
Phillip agrees to help Clara retrieve the key, however the forest holds many fears, she is unable to get the key at this point, but, Philip takes her to the Palace which lies beyond the forest, where she will meet The Sugar Plum Fairy (Keira Knightley) who seemingly welcomes Clara and shows her around, however, The Sugar Plum Fairy is not all sweetness and nice as Clara will find out.
This a World Clara's mother created as a child.........
Still needing the key Clara will with an escort return to the forest where she meets Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren) Regent of what is known as the Fourth Realm, who now holds the key.
Returning to the Palace with the key Clara is confronted by the Sugar Plum Fairy who has craved the use of it for her own purposes.
Clara will have to risk all to foil the evil intent 0f The Sugar Plum Fairy.
The film which indeed has many critics does have moments that one could easily criticise, however overall the fantasy drama is an enjoyable watch with much in the way of impressive special-effects 7/10 a fair score
The story is a fairy tale and it's supposed to appeal to both young audiences and their parents and/or grandparents. For me it worked just fine. Yes, I would have liked a bit more of Tchaikovsky's music, and also a bit more of Polunin dancing, but for children it is just fine as it is. Too much classical music and ballet would probably bore most of them. If you want either of those, get a good recording of Tchaikovsky or a DVD of the ballet instead of this film. If you want to get into the festive spirit with a bit of beautiful Nutcracker magic with your family this should fit the bill just fine.
I'd buy this in 3D, but in 2D it's worthless to me. I'd rather watch that eye-watering mess starring Elle Fanning.
A useless purchase that I can’t give to my goddaughter on her birthday.